Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Drug Design Tool: Structure of Viral Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES) RNA

Dr. Jeffrey Kieft and colleagues at the University of Colorado have determined the complete three-dimensional crystal structure of the internal ribosome entry RNA site (IRES) from a member of the Dicistroviridae family. With the first complete three-dimensional structure of an IRES RNA solved, this is the first of its kind and allows for further investigations into the mechanism by which the IRES operates, at a level of detail not before possible. IRES RNA sequences are critical for infection of many pathogenic viruses including hepatitis C  and A, polio virus, foot-and-mouth-disease virus, encaphalomyocarditis virus and HIV (among others).

Applications for Dr. Kieft’s discovery include design of novel antiviral compounds, structure-based drug design, and agricultural insect pest control (e.g., taura syndrome disease in shrimp).

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to key documents, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Flexible, Inexpensive Manufacture of Net-Shaped Materials for Orthopedic and Dental Applications

Calcium phosphate ceramics, including Tricalcium Phosphates (TCP) are a preferred material for bone reconstruction in orthopedics and dental restorative and reconstructive surgery. This phosphate occurs in two forms, alpha and beta. Beta facilitates bone remodeling through the dissolution of calcium and phosphate ions, while alpha provides structural stability. Both function as a scaffold upon which bone cells can grow. TCP has been used in numerous applications to match the chemical and structure of natural bone and is capable of being resorbed.

Collaborators at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Colorado have developed a combustion synthesis method to produce porous TCP net-shaped materials comprised of alpha or beta TCP mixtures. (“Net-shaped” and “near-net-shaped” materials are those which require relatively little or no post-manufacturing processing such as grinding, polishing, cuffing, deburring, etc.) This improved technique does not require the preparation of intermediate forms or the use of chemical steps to produce the final net-shaped material — rather, this technique provides net-shaped compositions in essentially one step and in a significantly shortened time frame compared to current state-of-the-art. This technique has the added advantage of requiring little to no post-manufacturing processing, an expensive process requiring costly machinery.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Podcast: GlobeImmune, Bioscience Company of the Year

W3W3 radio spoke with Dr. Timothy Rodell, President and Chief Executive Officer of GlobeImmune, Inc. GlobeImmune was recognized by TTO as Bioscience Company of the Year for 2009.
This is a prime example of how academic research can ultimately lead to potentially important commercial products that can change the way that medicine is practiced. The grease that makes this happen, the way that this happens in the best sense, is that university scientists can be guided by a technology transfer office. 
Go to the archive of all TTO podcasts to hear the full interview.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 2010 Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's July 2010 newsletter:

Western States Biopharma to Commercialize CU Autoimmune Disease Treatment
Western States Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (WSBI), a privately-held biotechnology company focusing on the development of novel therapies to treat inflammatory disease, and the University of Colorado announced today that they have entered into a licensing agreement for approaches to inhibiting newly discovered T cell Cytokine Inducing Surface Molecules, or TCISM™ autoimmune disease drug discovery targets. WSBI is currently advancing its lead molecule – WSBI-711, an antibody against two TCISM targets – into midstage pre-clinical testing. WSBI’s other promising TCISM antibody and orally-active small molecule therapeutic programs are also progressing towards pre-clinical development.


Syberenety Options Addiction Support Software from CU
A social networking tool developed jointly by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Syberenety LLC may soon be available to help recovering addicts stay connected to support and accountability. Through an interactive, online social support network environment, coupled with applications on a handheld device, users will stay connected in real-time with professional and personal mentors, to give those battling addiction the best chance at avoiding and coping with potential relapse. Technology underlying the social network tool was recently optioned to Syberenety LLC, a Colorado-based company seeking to help those recovering from addiction find support in a secure online network.


Sandhill Scientific Options CU Diagnostic Device for Esophageal Diseases
A diagnostic device developed at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine was recently optioned by Sandhill Scientific, Inc., a Colorado-based company developing diagnostic devices for a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses. Diagnosing inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract such as severe gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), inflammatory bowel disease (lBD), and a number of other diseases can be difficult. Blood, stool and x-ray tests are not sufficient to diagnose any of these conditions definitively, or to differentiate them, and more invasive methods such as endoscopy are costly and carry potential complications. The optioned technology provides a less invasive way for doctors to determine the cause and appropriate treatment of esophageal inflammation.

miRagen teams with Santaris Pharma

RealD Dazzles in IPO Debut

Read the full newsletter, or sign up to receive a monthly email update.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Tissue Fusion of Septal Membranes - an Alternative to Sutures and Staples

Since the late 1980’s, laboratory research has clearly indicated the potential for using lasers to “weld” biological tissues together. An important advantage is achieving an instant, watertight bond. While a few inventors have tried to create a practical laser system for use in surgical applications, none have been able to surmount all the engineering problems, particularly as they relate to the different set of laser parameters that are required for different tissues, e.g., wave-length, pulse duration, power level, exposure time, etc. An additional drawback with previous tissue welding technologies, even with optimized performance parameters, is that the use of these test systems is an art, which requires a great deal of experience on behalf of the operator to practice effectively despite attempts to automate the feedback and control of the units. Thus, it is easy to burn tissue or end up with an incomplete closure using this one-size-fits-all approach.

Michael Larson of the University of Colorado has developed a medical device which generates heat and pressure for the purpose of fusing tissue membranes together, as an alternative to the current methods of wound closure, including suturing and stapling. The first prototyped device is optimized for the fusion of septal membranes, and overcomes the barriers which have prevented others from creating an economically viable laser fusion solution.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Western States Biopharma to Commercialize CU Autoimmune Disease Treatment

Western States Biopharmaceuticals and University of Colorado Announce Exclusive Licensing Agreement for TCISM™ Targets to Treat Autoimmune Diseases

Licensed Technology is a Novel Approach to Treating Inflammatory Disease while Preserving Immune Protection

AURORA, Colo. – July 8, 2010 – Western States Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (WSBI), a privately-held biotechnology company focusing on the development of novel therapies to treat inflammatory disease, and the University of Colorado announced today that they have entered into a licensing agreement for approaches to inhibiting newly discovered T cell Cytokine Inducing Surface Molecules, or TCISM™ autoimmune disease drug discovery targets.

WSBI’s Chief Scientific Officer and a discoverer of the TCISM targets, Dr. Carl K. Edwards, said, “The goal of WSBI’s drug discovery and development research programs is to mediate adaptive immunity (one of two arms of the immune system) while leaving the innate immune system intact. This more selective approach has the potential to result in more effective, yet safer therapies than those currently available to patients.”

Dr. David Norris, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and a discoverer of the TCISM targets, commented further, “Autoimmune diseases comprise over 100 chronic and often disabling illnesses affecting up to 100 million people worldwide. While there are blockbuster therapies that treat these diseases, they work in only a portion of patients and often lack long-term efficacy. Additionally, because they block the patient’s entire immune system, these drugs leave the body vulnerable to infections and even malignancies. TCISM-based therapies could potentially provide physicians and patients improved options for the treatment of many inflammatory diseases.”

WSBI is currently advancing its lead molecule – WSBI-711, an antibody against two TCISM targets – into midstage pre-clinical testing. WSBI’s other promising TCISM antibody and orally-active small molecule therapeutic programs are also progressing towards pre-clinical development.

“TCISMs are a powerful new technology in the battle against autoimmune disease that has the potential to revolutionize standard of care,” added Paul Tabor of the CU Technology Transfer Office. “The university is very pleased to memorialize a partnership with Western States Biopharmaceuticals, a company we believe is ideally positioned to bring this technology forward.”

About Western States Biopharmaceuticals
Western States Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately-held biotechnology company leveraging discoveries from the University of Colorado’s world-class autoimmune research center. WSBI’s management team has participated in the development or commercialization of breakthrough autoimmune therapies including Enbrel®, Prolia™, and Kineret®. Its scientific advisory board is composed of award-winning research and clinical experts in inflammation. WSBI has a pipeline of products in pre-clinical development based on TCISM targets. For more information visit: www.westernstatesbiopharm.com.